As Macro said, it all depends on the grade of your cabin. To sum it up roughly, it you have an inside, outside, premium balcony or deluxe balcony cabin, you eat at the Britannia Restaurant and have the choice of early or late seating at dinner (breakfast and lunch are open seating).
If you occupy a Britannia Club balcony cabin (grade AA), you dine at the Club part of the Britannia Restaurant. This is open seating and the same table is reserved for you throughout the cruise for both breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The same happens with the luxurious Princess and Queens Grill Restaurants. You dine there if you occupy a Princess Suite or a Queens Suite accordingly.
In all restaurants there is a wide choice of tables for two, four, six or more. You can ask to have a specific table when you book your cruise, or when on board by contacting the Maitre D' of your assigned restaurant.
Other than the main restaurants, the King's Court casual Restaurant is converted every night to four alternative restaurants. Three of them are free from charge: Carvery (steak restaurant), Lotus (Asian cuisine) and La Piazza (Italian cuisine). The fourth, Chef's Galley, charges an extra cover, $30 per person, but you can watch the chef live, preparing your meal.
There is also the Todd English Restaurant, which charges $20 pp for lunch or $30 pp for dinner and offers Mediterranean cuisine.
We are booked in AA Britannia Club but I have a concern about being a table of more than 2 is my understanding is correct.
That is our "seats" are reserved and we have the right to dine from something like 6 pm to 9 pm. With a table of 8 ( all not connected travellers ) this could result in 4 varying dinner times with one party working on an appetizer another the entree and another dessert as the fourth couple comes in. This would create a lack of continuity for the meal and would be like sitting at a lunch counter with people coming and going. If anyone has experience in this a comment would be appreciated as would any correction to my idea of the dining concept.
Thanks for any input.
Yes, you are correct. Many people report this. It happens in all 'open seating' dining rooms (Britannia Club and the Grills). People dining at the same table can come and go every time they want within the three-hour time limit, so when you start your meal others may be finishing or vice versa. This can be frustrating if you want not to be disturbed by this 'come and go' 'fuss', or just want to have some company during your entire dinner.
Unfortunately, no fixed solution applies for this, as far as I know. If you get acquainted with some of your fellow diners you can perhaps ask them to accompany you for future dinners at a standard time. Or, if you find that nothing can be done in your assigned tagle, you can ask the Maitre D' of the Britannia Club to transfer you to another table, where there are more possibilities to have a 'steady' company. Just ask him, they have always been very polite to us and they will try their best to accommodate your request if they can.
Of course, if order at your table or company at dinner are so important for your cruise experience, the best thing to do is to book a Britannia category stateroom (not AA Britannia Club) and be assigned a fixed first or second seating at a large table (8 or 10 persons). (Please note that breakfast and lunch are open seating in all restaurants, so you will have the same problem in all cabin grades there). People at Britannia restaurant will all come and go fairly together and nothing like a lunch counter will happen. An A3-A1 Deluxe balcony cabin would be ideal for this, as they are exactly the same in terms of size, decor and interior configuration with your AA cabin. In that case of course you will sacrifice your freedom of choice of time. And there is always the danger that you will not like the particular people at your table, even if you can always ask the Maitre D' to transfer you to another table at almost any time of your cruise. Also, many times people try the alternative restaurants of the ship, those that I descibed in my previous message, and there is the possibility that they will not come to the Britannia restaurant for one or two nights. Nevertheless, booking a Britannia stateroom is the safest way to have company at dinner.
Please see also my message below. I would like to add that there are cases that you have not been assigned the table you have asked for when you made your booking. We have some times asked during booking for a table for two, only to see when on board that we have been assigned another larger table. When you go to your cabin in embarkation, you will find a little card with a diagram of your restaurant and the table you have been assigned. If you don't like it, go immediately to your restaurant (the sooner the better) and ask the Maitre D' (he is always there during embarkation) to change your table and have you seated in a table of your choice. A little tip always helps. Every time we did it, our request was fulfilled. By the way, if you like to avoid the fuss of other people coming and going at your table during your dinner in an open seating restaurant like the Britannia Club, the best way certainly is to ask for a table for two...
Your insight is appreciated and thanks for taking the time to respond. Best regards.
Go to Cunards web site/look in their brochure, as where you dine depends on the grade of cabin. All is explained fully in the aforementioned sites.
If booking a premium balcony, where will I be able to eat dinner? Is it easy to get a table for two, and can I ask for a table for two when making the booking.